LONDON – Two sets fell to one against the 151st-ranked German qualifier at Wimbledon on Wednesday night, Britain’s Andy Murray He turned to the crowd and shouted one word: “Fight.”
It’s a word that sums up Murray’s storied career, the kind of never-ending attitude that has brought him three Grand Slam titles, two Olympic golds, and a first place finish.
With a metal hip, introduced in early 2019, nights like this seemed like a thing of the past, but over the course of nearly four glorious hours at Wimbledon Central, he impressed everyone once again.
It comes after a dramatic four-set win in the first round Nikoloz Basilashvili, ranked #24, it was a really cool effort. His win 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 over Oscar Otti It required three hours and 51 minutes of real combat.
For anyone who has followed Murray throughout his career, from his early days to two Wimbledon wins and other big successes, this kind of situation is nothing special.
At the age of 34, with a metal right hip, no playing matches, and in a singles tie at Wimbledon since 2017, Murray has raised himself to a new level once again, finding faith in walking away when he needed to, and raising him a crowd shrieked loudly and long into the night. .
But even by Murray’s standards, this was more special. The atmosphere in Central Court, which was half full due to COVID-19 restrictions, was as good as anything he had experienced during his 16 years at Wimbledon.
“That’s one of the reasons why I still play because of moments like this,” he said.
“Like, why would you want to give this up? You know, the atmosphere, it was good throughout the match, but especially, the last hour and a half was great. I’m still enjoying that.”
Having led the 27-year-old with a set and 3-1, the match should probably have ended in two hours.
But doing things was rarely Murray’s way.
The guy loves to fight, and from the moment the two guys got back on the field with a 2-2 4th place after the roof was closed due to poor lighting, he was a changed man.
“I needed to do something different,” Murray said. “I started getting my shots more, and I started dictating more points.
“I was a little negative. Because of the lack of matches, in the important moments I didn’t make the right decisions much of the time, but I think I played the right way in the last two sets.
“The first and a half set was really good, there are only parts in the middle that I would like to change.”
Near the end, as he deepens again, poor Ooty looks like a defeated man, but it still takes some old Murray shots to get the job done.
One of his flashing forehand pass, while on the run, was out of the top drawer while the two top spirals in the final inning, one at 15-15 and the other at the same match point, were as good as any pass he hit.
“This is the greatest victory for the shirt”
– Graham Love (@glove931) June 30, 2021
The fans who closed their eyes during the final hour of the match were rewarded with Murray handing someone his shirt. The Scotsman said they helped give him the energy to get the job done.
“There was a guy standing around the whole time getting pumped and it just caught my eye,” Murray said. “Every time I won a point, and even when I lost points, I would just look at him. The audience feels[s] This is what I think and feel[s] As if you were feeding them and stuff. It was nice.
“I mean, it helps. It’s something I’ve done a few times over the years in certain matches. I hope the fans like it and I don’t think it’s kind of weird that I’m staring at them and screaming at them for about an hour, but they seem to be enjoying it too.”
In 2019, when Murray announced that he would try to return to the Tour with his metallic burke, few thought he could actually do so. After all, it has never been done in singles before.
Even if fans weren’t necessarily on his side, Otti played too much, and the German called the experience “unrealistic”.
“I enjoyed it,” he said, “even though they were all cheering for Andy.” “It was unrealistic to play on the main court.”
Murray told Otti that if he keeps playing at this level, the results will come.
“He’s my icon,” Otty said of Murray. “For me, it’s the best ever.”
The road back to Wimbledon has been long and arduous for Murray, with several setbacks causing him to abandon his playing plans at various events along the way.
But he never gave up – he never gave up. And nights like the one he enjoyed against Ooty at Wimbledon on Wednesday will surely make all the hardships worth it.